Choose the right accountant for your small business

By Hannah Thomas

Today, businesses run on such complicated finances that they almost always hire professionals to help them handle these operations. While a good accountant can help your small business grow and save you a lot of time while doing it, a bad one will only cost you money. An experienced accountant will provide you with a good advice when it comes to the success of your small business, but how hard it is to find one? With so many accountants to choose from, how are you going to separate the good from the bad one? Read on, because we’ll point you to some of the things you should look at when hiring an accountant.

What do you need an accountant for?

The very first thing you should ask yourself when choosing the right accountant is what purpose do you need the accountant for? If you’re doing your own bookkeeping duties, you’ll want an accountant who’ll evaluate the financial health of your small business. If this is the case, you don’t need a full-time accountant, but rather one that’s going to fulfill these tasks on a weekly or monthly basis. But if you’re looking for them to do your bookkeeping and more, a good accountant will not only do that but also set up the structuring of your business so it operates cost-effectively.


It’s extremely important to do a background check and review the client references when hiring your accountant. Also, when you have face-to-face meetings with potential accountants, keep in mind that you don’t need to magically click with the person, but it’s important to at least feel comfortable because you’ll want to contact this individual a lot and ask about business deals or tax implications all the time. Make sure that the candidate is a proactive person who is interested in your small business. If they’re not asking you any questions, skip them and move on to another candidate.

Ask the right questions

During the interview, it’s imperative that you ask the right questions in order to figure out if the accountant will be a good match for your small business. You don’t have to agree on all points, but the manner in which these questions are answered can be very important as well. Here’s a list of some of the questions you could ask.

  • Are they a CPA (certified public accountant)?
  • Who were their clients and where are they now compared to where they were when they hired them as an accountant?
  • What are their fees?
  • Ask them about availability. Are they only available during work hours, or they can be contacted outside of that too?
  • Where did they receive their license to practice?


There’s nothing worse than a scenario where IRS agents go through your finances because they’ve found out that your accountant had shady dealings with another client. A background check should have covered most of it, but some things you can deduce yourself in an interview. This is also why you might consider hiring an accounting firm because they’re much easier to check and offer greater insurance that their integrity is top-notch. If you’re looking for both integrity and a renovation of your business systems, many accountants the Sydney area has to offer can help you with that.

The cost

While accountants certainly cost your business money, if they’re good you’ll actually be saving quite a lot. The price of your accountant will vary whether you’re looking for a regular accountant or a CPA (certified public accountant). Discuss the services with your potential accountant and try to get an estimate on annual charges based on that. Some accountants will be more expensive, but they’ll also offer more – so be sure to calculate everything when choosing the right price. Make sure you’re very upfront when asking about the fees and don’t go for something you probably can’t afford, no matter how silver tongued they are.


Make sure that you meet with your chosen accountant at least once a month to review financial statements and potential problems. Try to talk openly about this, especially about their view on your business and finances. You need to be reviewing their performance on regular basis, at least until you’ve gained full trust in what they’re doing for your small business. And if you’re just lucky enough, you might find a lifetime financial partner for your company. And the longer they are with your business, the more they’ll be able to help you.


Hannah Thomas is an expert in business innovation and management with a love for writing. She is always eager to learn new things and to share the knowledge she acquired along the way.

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